By Dave Thomas
Malcom Floyd, WR #80
Height: 6’ 5”
Hometown: Sacramento, Ca.
When wide receiver Vincent Jackson took the money (some $55 million for a long-term deal) and flew off to Tampa Bay, fans of the San Diego Chargers, and opponents for that matter, may have just been wondering who quarterback Philip Rivers would go to in the 2012 season.
While future Hall-of-Fame tight end Antonio Gates is normally a reliable target, Gates is just that, a tight end. Big and bruising, Gates is not exactly going to outrace a large number of secondaries in the league. With Jackson gone, the Chargers came into this year knowing they needed to find a reliable receiving target that Rivers could go to, allowing the veteran quarterback to hit the big play or move the chains when the running game was not working.
So, would it be newly acquired Robert Meachem or Eddie Royal to take over Jackson’s role as the go-to receiver, or would it perhaps be someone already on the team, say Malcom Floyd?
Heading into Week Six this coming Monday against the Denver Broncos, Floyd has 20 receptions so far this season for 358 yards and a TD. Twice this season (Tennessee and New Orleans games), Floyd has gone over the 100-yard mark in reception yardage. A season ago, Floyd hauled in 856 yards in the air, five touchdowns, and a career-high 19.9 yard average per catch.
With that being said, you would think Floyd would be the go-to guy for Rivers and head coach Norv Turner, yet you do not always get that feeling when watching the Bolts.
Is This The Year Floyd Breaks Out?
While Floyd is on pace to top his career-high receptions mark of 45 in 2009, he still is not generally viewed as one of the top receiving threats in the NFL. Could it be that Gates still commands the title of San Diego’s top receiving threat? Or is it because Floyd just simply has not gotten enough attempts to make most people forget about Jackson?
Signed by the Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2004, Floyd has spent his entire career with the Bolts.
The question many fans wonder, however, is when will he have his breakout season in the NFL, allowing him to be one of the top go-to guys in the league?
Even though Floyd leads Charger receivers in receptions and yardage through five games, being a consistent threat for Rivers and against opposing defenses, is something both the Chargers and their fans hope to see from Floyd over the next two-thirds of the season.
With Vincent Brown still recovering from a broken ankle suffered in the preseason, and with both Royal and Meachem looking to develop a regular chemistry with Rivers, this could turn into a record-setting year for Floyd.
As both the Chargers and their fans are likely hoping, following up a good showing against New Orleans last week would benefit both one Malcom Floyd and the team when Denver comes calling Monday evening.
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Dave Thomas is a freelance writer covering all things Chargers. His work can be found on Examiner.com.